In its coverage Tuesday of President Donald Trump’s rally in Nashville, Tennessee, The New York Times estimated the attendance at the event was only 1,000 people.
The paper has since corrected the attendance number, updating it to a figure more than five times larger than its original estimate.
The correction was made after Trump posted a tweet Wednesday morning in which he called out the newspaper.
The president accused the paper of intentionally low-balling the estimated attendance at his appearance on behalf of GOP Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn, calling the Times reporters “dishonest” people.
“The Failing and Corrupt @nytimes estimated the crowd last night at ‘1000 people,’ when in fact it was many times that number – and the arena was rockin’. This is the way they demean and disparage. They are very dishonest people who don’t ‘get’ me, and never did!” Trump tweeted.
The Failing and Corrupt @nytimes estimated the crowd last night at “1000 people,” when in fact it was many times that number – and the arena was rockin’. This is the way they demean and disparage. They are very dishonest people who don’t “get” me, and never did!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018
“While no exact figure is available, the fire marshal’s office estimated that approximately 5,500 people attended the rally, not about 1,000 people,” the paper stated in its correction.
The reporter who wrote the article, Julie Hirschfeld Davis, posted a tweet admitting to her mistake.
“President @realDonaldTrump is correct about his crowd last night,” she tweeted. “My estimate was way off, and we have corrected our story to reflect the fire marshal’s estimate of 5,500 people. When we get it wrong, we say so.”
Bob Skoney, general manager of the Municipal Auditorium, said the capacity for the event was 7,500 to 8,000 people. The venue can usually seat 9,500, but some seats were blocked off based on the placement of the stage at the event.
“President Trump hosted over 8,000 patriotic Americans at our rally in Nashville last night, but the New York Times wants to mislead and deceive its declining readership by claiming that we had an ‘audience of about 1,000,’” said the campaign’s chief operating officer, Michael Glassner.
“This is yet another blatant attempt by the fake news media to deny the truth about President Trump’s success and diminish the reality of the Trump movement.”
This is not the first time Trump has called out the media for its estimates of the crowd sizes at his events. He did it frequently as a candidate in 2016 and has continued to do so as president.
In December, Dave Weigel of The Washington Post tweeted a picture of a largely empty stadium at a Trump rally. But it was later revealed that the photo had been taken well before the event started.
.@DaveWeigel @WashingtonPost put out a phony photo of an empty arena hours before I arrived @ the venue, w/ thousands of people outside, on their way in. Real photos now shown as I spoke. Packed house, many people unable to get in. Demand apology & retraction from FAKE NEWS WaPo! pic.twitter.com/XAblFGh1ob
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2017
Weigel eventually deleted the photo and apologized for posting the picture, saying that because he saw the president walking in the corner of his photo, he did not realize the photo was taken before the event had gotten underway.
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